Dream on all gullible idiots…

Liz-S-Writing-Workshop-101

This morning I perused several posts on different internet pages extolling the importance of attending workshops and conferences for writers. All of them give the unsuspecting the totally wrong message, by implying that participation is a guarantee to literary success by sitting down with, and talking to, what the various sites claim are professionals in our business.

Most also suggest that by spending copious amounts of money to promote your work via their sites will also ensure success. This little time bomb is usually to be found buried in the small print, tucked well away from the main text.

To put it crudely – it’s all complete bollocks!

If you are a social climbing gadfly with money to burn who loves to tell anyone within earshot that you are an author, by all means flit between the various writers workshops and conferences, no matter where they are, to your heart’s content, or until you do an impression of Icarus. If you believe that doing this will somehow make you a writer – dream on idiot!

These days you will find many of these wannabe’s on sites like Facebook. They are fairly easy to spot. Usually they are the ones who add the word author as if it is one of their christian names – Author Joe Bloggs, or they add the word to their surname – Joe Bloggs – Author.

However, not all writers who have the word added to their name can be lumped together with the wannabes. There are one or two exceptions. Usually they are people who got caught out when creating an account on the social media site of their choice. As a general rule of thumb, you will find that hardworking real writers just use their given name.

If you delude yourself into believing that by rubbing shoulders with well known authors, that somehow or other some of their success will rub off on you, think again! As for the literary agents and publisher’s representatives who the various sites claim will be in attendance, if they turn up at all which is highly doubtful, they are only looking for one thing – a manuscript to exploit to their own financial advantage. They are certainly not there for you.

As for the kind of literary success the various sites say is yours for the taking, unless you are known celebrity, be it an actor, pop-star, socialite, television personality or sports man or woman, who has been approached by a publisher with an in-house ghost writer standing by – forget it! Come on now, you didn’t really think that your favourite movie star or singer actually penned that best selling autobiography did you?

Take it from one who knows – there is no substitute under the sun for hard work and long experience. That only comes after years of honing your craft. Most of us continue honing until the day we shuffle off this mortal coil. Don’t worry if it takes you several years or decades, one day you will pen a work which appeals to the general reading public, however briefly.

Meantime get busy writing…

15 thoughts on “Dream on all gullible idiots…

  1. I feel slighted. I have attached ‘Author’ to my name on my page, and yet I have never set one toe in a writer’s workshop – I didn’t have the money to invest in a questionable enterprise. And yet I have 10 books available on Amazon and on Smashwords, and according to reviews, they aren’t bad.

    Liked by 1 person

      • FB allows the changing of a page’s name only once, and I’ve already done that. But I’m also very proud of the fact that I’m a published author, especially since it’s something that kind of crept up on me unawares. I didn’t start writing until sometime around 2005 or so, and even then, publishing was like going to the moon – never happen – only it did. Because I’m self published and not all that long term at it, I am a far cry from those big numbers, but I do still sell books. For which I am totally thrilled.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! I’ve never understood why people felt they needed writing conferences to be good writers. Maybe it’s the promise of being able to pitch to an actual agent that attracts them. Lord knows it’s tough to get past that barrier. My idea of a writing conference is to get someplace quiet and write. Doesn’t cost me a thing and I don’t have to stand in line for the bathroom!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know when I first started, I was very hungry for some kind of feedback. I really sucked at English class in school and I never took any writing classes in college. I just started writing. And even though I was an avid reader, I didn’t pay attention to such things as punctuation and capitalization. I knew the basics and my mother insisted I speak well, so I had no trouble constructing a sentence, making paragraphs and that sort of thing. For me, telling the story was the easy part, even when it came to hundreds of pages, but I knew nothing about the nitty-gritty mechanics. I looked into several of these writing groups, but their price was way to high for me, plus it made no sense to me. Why charge a price when all that was supposedly happening was a bunch of passionate writers were getting together to give each other that valuable feedback? The only thing I could think of was the cost of maintaining the forum, but most of the time, the forum was on some bigger website. I just couldn’t see where the money was going, so not only could I not afford it in the first place, it just seemed flaky to me. I got most of my feedback from the YouWriteOn contest. A great group of passionate writers, and it was free. A very helpful place. I recommend it to anyone is might be interested.

    Liked by 1 person

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